dear grandma...

When I was 3 you made me watch a very scary version of Alice In Wonderland.  Honestly I don't think any child should have ever watched that movie, mainly because of that terrifying fire breathing dragon, but for some reason you thought it was a great idea.  And now, looking back, I feel like you were my very own dragon, but not one I was afraid that helped show me how I should live my life...fierce, fearless, and full of fire.  

I don't have a single memory of you that doesn't bring a smile to my face.  You were always so full of life and always there for every moment of mine.  From dance recitals and orchestra concerts, to musicals and birthdays you were always there to cheer me on.  And always wearing something colorful, like almost over the top, but you were bold, so wearing a head to toe red suit, you didn't bat an eye.
Bold and unapologetic.  You said what you wanted to say, when you wanted to say it...clearly I get that from you.  And you always brought the laughter.  I feel like we were always laughing, and singing, and dancing and just living for each moment when we were with you.

I'm sorry I'm not able to be there today.  To see your face once last time and wish you well on your next adventure.  But talk about luck that your final farewell is on 7/7...I hope you start playing those slot machines the second you find your fave casino in heaven.  I bet you'll bowl a perfect 300 now too.  You'll have to tell me all about it when it happens.

Thank you for filling my life with all of your love.  Thank you for giving me some of the best moments for the last 37 years.  Thank you for always making me feel important.  Thank you for being silly for no reason at all.  Thank you for being sassy.  Thank you for always making me eat dessert even when I was stuffed.  Thank you for making crewneck sweatshirts cool.  Thank you for sharing your stories.  And  thank you for gifting me with the most amazing mom.  I'm most grateful for that and I'll make sure and take care of her for you.  

When I said goodbye to you during my visit in February I remember grabbing your little face in my hands and telling you I love you and to stay strong.  You were always so strong, but I think I knew then that you were at peace  and you were ready to go when it was your time.  And while I selfishly wanted so many more years with you, I will treasure what you gave me and I will live the rest of my life staying strong for you.  
You were my sun.  That bright light that will fuel me to live my life with purpose each day going forward. You may have scared me with the dragon, but I think you knew exactly what you were doing.  You gave me permission to embrace being fierce, and fearless, and full of fire.  I am the dragon.  And I'll make sure to keep us all safe until we can be together again. 

 I love you grandma.  Make sure and give them hell up there in heaven!  And don't forget to visit...but as like a butterfly...not a dragon...because I think we've had enough crazy this year.  Miss you already and love you always.